Sitting in Terminal 5 at Heathrow I finally have the time to write about the end of our work on Oasis of the Seas in Turku. I stress that it's only our work in Turku that is done because when the Oasis arrives in Fort Lauderdale on November 11th it's like a whole new job will start. The ship is 99% finished, or will be upon arrival stateside, but one key are is missing a few things. We haven't put in the trees and plants for Central Park. We're talking 30'+ trees and a ton of other foliage. Such is the task that we have to use a 650 ton crane to reach up and over decks 15 and 16 where the pools are to drop the trees down onto deck 8 which is open to the sky for Central Park on the center line of the ship. That part doesn't bother me so much and will probably be pretty interesting to set up and work.
The other projects that are going on will probably bother me a little. Good Morning America will shoot live on the ship one day and not too soon after there is a concert planned with Rihanna on the stern which is the Aqua Theatre. The amount of road boxes and gear that we're going to have to load will necessitate another crane to work the aft end of the ship. And seeing how everyone involved is in entertainment (or as my co-worker Skippy calls them, the dancers and the prancers) I'm sure it will be, um. . . made much more difficult than it needs to be. On top of those two cranes we also have 3-4 shell gate doors that will see a steady influx of provisions, shop goods, wine, etc. and a steady outflux of garbage and tools from the work still going on during the Atlantic crossing. (And why the heck isn't outflux a word?)
But, as usual, I undress. . . uh, digress.
The end of the job was hectic but from our side it was well in control. Actually if some areas on the ship had been ready sooner we would have been done with all the loading at least a week before departure. As it was we were still lifting things to the Boardwalk and Central Park well past midnight and the ship pulled away from the pier at 0600 on Friday. The best part was the safety items that absolutely had to be on board before departure. . . two small air shipments that went from Copenhagen to Helsinki and didn't arrive to the ship until midnight and about 0500 respectively. I do find it a little ridiculous that the ship has been loading heavily for two months and we can't even get everything we need locally from the EU on board. Oh well, done now. Skippy and I cleaned up the warehouse on Friday and loaded containers to Miami and containers to stay in the yard for storage for the Allure. There's a pretty good chance I'll be going back to Finland next year for the Allure around the same time. There's a rumor that the Allure will be commissioned a month earlier which would be truly awesome because we would be in Finland for the better part of the summer.
After cleaning up the yard Skip and I took a shot of Jagermeister and had a 500ml Lapin Kulta (local beer) at the hotel. But the celebration was only just beginning. The fork lift and truck drivers from the shipyard invited us to an Ice Cream Sauna party. I know, doesn't sound too good with just a bunch of dudes but its only called the ice cream party because these guys sell ice cream for a small profit throughout the year at their office and use the proceeds to rent a large sauna every few months. SO, it should have been called the beer and sauna party, cause that's exactly what it was. We got the sauna up to 75 degrees Celsius, which I am told is NUTHIN' for these guys, and it was interesting to sit there and wonder if your skin can actually spontaneously begin to blister from the heat of the steam. Also interesting to roll in there with a cold beer and before you can finish the darn thing it's damn near boiling hot. (Of course, I had to commit the ultimate party foul and allow a beer bottle to break on the floor in the sauna. . . fellas took it pretty well though.)
Sauna party lasted till 11pm and then we headed to one of our favorite places called The Castle. . . I may have spoken of it before. Closed that place down and all in all had an excellent last night in Turku. Had a nice dinner in Helsinki last night with a new local friend and significantly less alcohol but significantly more food than the night before. Early to bed, early to rise and now I'll be in Miami around 6:15 if all goes well.
Hope to catch up with people this week. I'm supposed to be off the whole week but there's too much work for me to ignore so I'll settle for sleeping later than 0600 and maybe multiple sushi meals! Kiipis!